What came first the plateau with your effort or the plateau with your results???
Now that may sound a little harsh, however I believe a vital component in the long term body gain game is managing unrealistic expectations.
In today’s show I’m looking at the FAQ: How Do I Break Through My Weight Loss Plateau?
I’ll cover some tactics to get back into fat blasting mode however beyond that is – as always – the Mindset component.
Let’s start with 3 considerations:
One: The Honest Assessment.
Let me paint you a picture… you start your new exercise and eating program with a flourish. You’re ultra focused and determined. It feels good to be working towards a goal you really want to achieve. The food tastes better than you thought, the work-outs are getting easier and seeing that number on the scales go down each week is super-Crazy-MOTIVATING.
Until a few weeks or even months in and one week the scale doesn’t move. Or perhaps it creeps up a tad. Maybe this was the week you shared that burger and fries (which is still a much better effort than devouring the lot and dessert yourself!) or maybe this was a perfect week where you did every right.
Or did you? Are you still tracking your food and making up your missed exercise sessions like you did the first few weeks?
Maybe you really truly are however this leads us to point 2…
Two: The Effort v. Results Commitment.
Are you expecting the same results you started with when you had a whole more fat to lose and a whole lot more exercising and eating habits to change?
The cruel reality with fat loss is the law of DIMINISHING RETURNS will kick in at some point.
At some point – no guarantee when – you’re going to have to work harder to see less results. No it’s not fair. That’s life right? If you knew the changes I need to implement to get to 1-2% below what I normally hang at you’ll know why I only do it once a year or so… MAX!
The pounds they call Vanity – those last 5-10-15 pounds that you may really not want hanging on your body – are always going to be the hardest to lose. Once your body is at a healthy, effective, functioning place it’s pretty damn comfortable staying there thank you very much.
It really doesn’t want to sacrifice that little bit of extra fat it may need in a famine or if you all of a sudden end up on a dessert island or as experienced earlier this year, if you get gastro…
So this is the time to decide how much do you want it?
How much effort are you up for putting in – IN ADVANCE – before you get to enjoy the results you want?
Are you ready to BACK YOURSELF 100% – to do whatever it takes – to stick with it for as long as it takes?
Alright so you’re super committed. Doing the exercise do. Eating the best fuel. Willing to stick it out through those natural and normal periods of a few weeks where you body adapts to the actions you’re taking and stalls the fat loss. How about this…
Three: The Hidden Saboteur.
SLEEP. Or more-so lack there-of will stall your fat loss like that caring family member who constantly cooks your favourite treats and sees as it as a personal insult to the core of their being if you don’t indulge.
Thankfully like with politely declining those treats, saying NO to the things that have been stealing your sleep time is within your control, and is absolutely your responsibility.
Apart from sending stress (and belly fat storing) hormone Cortisol outta whack… too little sleep affects both the hormone Ghrelin which stimulates appetite and also Leptin whose vital job is to send a signal to your brain when you are full. So, lack of sleep can create the devastating combination of driving leptin levels down, so you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat AND also causing ghrelin levels to rise which stimulates your appetite.
Once you’re down with these 3 considerations, here are some tactics to get back into fat blasting mode:
1. Make some one ingredient upgrades to your current nutrition.
=> there’s always room for improvement. Swap something processed for something whole and natural. Always do this instead of slashing your calories. If your body is resisting letting go of fat the last thing your want to do is give it the signal that there’s a shortage of food. It’s go into preservation mode: Yes, the Starvation Effect.
Always choose better quality fuel over restriction.
2. Focus on the positives you’re seeing beyond just that pesky number on the scale.
=> the right actions WILL get you the results you want if you stick with them consistently. However, to stick with these right actions it’s only natural to want to see some sort of benefit for your hard work. It’s there, you just need to look for it.
Perhaps your fitness improving, your strength increases or your back and joints aching less.
Maybe that muscle definition you’re starting to see or the fact that your clothes are looser.
Possibly the fact that it’s easier to get up early each morning, that you sleep better each night and are less moody.
Or even the cool people you’re meeting at the gym or the positive influence you’re having on your friends and family.
3. Mix it up and pump up the intensity in your work-outs.
=> as I hinted at earlier in todays show your body is pretty awesome at adapting to the challenges you throw at it. Here are some variables to consider beyond simply changing the exercises you do and increasing the weight you lift:
- Increase your training DENSITY by getting the same amount done in less time… or getting the same amount done in less time OR the super brutal, getting more done in less time!
- Throw a FINISHER on to the end of your work-out. A finisher is an intense little exercise combo that squeezes all that’s left out of you at the end of your weights session.
=> For a full body example: 5 pull ups, 10 squat press’s and 15 kettle-bell swings… performed 3-5 times.
=> Or a core example: 8 walking planks, 8 side planks with hip dip and toe tap (each side) and 24 mountain climbers… performed 3-5 times.
- Pair your big heavy compound movements with high repetition BODY WEIGHT movements.
=> For a similar muscle group example: Barbell lunges and pistol squats and/or sumo in out jump squats.
=> Or an opposing muscle group example: Assisted chin-ups and decline push-ups.
- Change your weights training SPLIT from upper and lower body or single body parts to full body… or vice versa.
- Incorporate some HIIT into your weights sessions… perhaps some intervals on the treadmill, rower or skipping at the end of each weighted circuit or at the end of your session.
- Experiment with training times, CONDITIONS and nutrition to see if it helps you train harder… I prefer training a couple of hours after I wake up, with breakfast on board yet an hour or two past… a 20 minute walk to work under my belt, a strong black coffee AND my fav tunes. Everyone is different, many people train better with a training buddy or on an empty stomach or even late in the day.
It must be about time to make today actionable. I’m going to go with the low hanging fruit in this one. What is one variable you can change to either mix it up a little or pump up the intensity in your work-outs?
I’m a massive fan of finishers right now. I’d love to hear what you’re going to implement though?
That brings us to the end of this week in Healthification and also the end of episode 100!!!
My most genuine and heart-felt thanks to YOU for your support and for sharing this first century of Healthification with me.
If you’ve enjoyed this show and gotten value out of it I’d super appreciate it if you pop over to iTunes and leave me a review. It’s actually super important right now as after 16 weeks rockin out in the ‘New and Noteworthy’ category of iTunes, well I guess I’m no longer new AND I’m not hot yet!!! My next goal is to get this lil podcast a little higher in ‘What’s Hot’ category of iTunes because basically right now it’s gone way too undercover… and that makes it tough for anyone new to discover Healthification. Sad face right?
If you liked this you’ll also like: How Certainty In YOURSELF Beats Weight Loss Overwhelm
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